Without a heart, we don’t have life. The same goes for a car battery. A car battery is like the heartbeat of a car. Without it, your vehicle won’t run. The battery also reserves electricity for the use of other components of a car. If your battery isn’t working properly, it could lead to expensive damages, and also endanger your life.
Even though a car battery normally lasts for a couple of years, there are different circumstances and conditions that could make a battery die even before its expiry date, such as temperature levels, heat, vibration, discharging, weather conditions, and driving habits. Basically, what we are saying is that getting the right battery for your car can save a lot of stress and cost in the long run.
Knowing car batteries will give some ability and control over them, since knowledge is power, and you are less likely to get puzzled about car batteries.
A car battery is an energy storage device. It provides the energy needed to power the electrical components of a vehicle and get it running. Just like a phone without a battery won’t start, a car acts just the same way. A car battery converts chemical energy into electrical energy to power your car and delivers voltage to its starter. Car batteries may be small but the power they provide is enormous. It also gives the initial cranks that start your car and stabilizes the voltage that keeps the engine running. Your battery makes the energy of your cars sustainable.
No doubt, car batteries start our cars, in all seasons, in all weathers, and keep them on the move for years.
Types And Sizes Of Car Batteries
Cars are becoming more intricate and power-draining by the day. There are several battery types and innovative technology that provide the support our vehicle needs.
Battery types include:
- Flooded cell battery
- Enhanced flooded battery
- Calcium battery
- SLI battery
- Deep cycle battery
- Gel battery
- Absorbent Glass Mat battery (AGM)
- Lithium-ion battery
- Lead-Acid battery eg Hankok Battery
A car’s battery size is an industry-standard for car batteries. They indicate and symbolize the physical size of a car battery and its polarity. The group size is typically printed on the label of the battery. Battery sizes include:
- Side post batteries: Mostly of sizes 70, 74, 75 and 78.
- Recessed top post batteries: Sizes 41, 42, 47, 48 and 49.
- Standard top post batteries: Sizes 24, 24F, 25, 34, 35, 51, 51R, 58R, 65, to mention but a few.
How to Know What Type of Battery to Buy For Your Car
Car batteries can’t run forever. Batteries have been reported to last for three to five years, therefore, there might be a need to replace your car battery because it can get old, worn out, or die.
Since we have different battery types, sizes, and needs they can meet, there is no absolute car battery one can recommend. The use and installation of the wrong batteries can even cause huge damage to your car. Your car is an expensive collection, and you should not endanger it because of your car battery choice. There are rules you can follow to get the best battery for your car.
- Recycle old batteries: Battery recycling should be part and parcel of your battery disposal. It reduces the need for manufacturers sourcing new battery resources, and it can divert toxins like lead and acids from our immediate environment and make our environment sustainable. You can even get extra money for recycling.
- Go for the freshest battery: Batteries start to be deprived of energy over time. The date a battery was manufactured generally helps to place performance levels. Expert advice buying a battery that hasn’t stayed on the shelf for more than half a year. A battery’s freshness is determined by the manufacturing information on the battery, which can be found on the battery’s cover or side. It is written in letters, which stand for months, and digits, which stand for years.
- Warranties: Warranty periods vary from battery to battery. They are also sometimes relative to the battery’s price. It is better to consider a battery that has a long free replacement period. Warranty periods are generally divided into free replacement or prorated periods.
- Owner’s manual: Endeavor to read and understand your car’s owner’s manual because it specifies the size, age, expiry date, and type of your car’s battery.
- Size and Fitness: The size refers to the height, weight, and length of your battery. Your battery must be able to fit into your car’s battery tray and must be tightly secured in the holder. Note that not all batteries will fit into the battery tray of your car. Your battery terminal type and placement must also be well suited to your car. The position of the positive terminals affects the polarity of your car, therefore it is important to check what side the positive terminal is and fit it well, whether left or right. Note that if your battery’s height is above the accepted or standard size, it can shoot out the bonnet and also damage it.
- Reserve Capacity (RC): The RC must also be considered during battery replacement. It evaluates how a car battery can run on its own without the engine. A good battery should have a high reserve capacity. Having high reserve capacity can help cars through difficult situations like engine failure, alternator failure or accidentally leaving the lights on.
- Maintenance of car batteries: You should always consider the difference between maintenance-free or low-maintenance car batteries, especially when you use your car in a hot climate.
- Cranking Amps and Cold Cranking Amps: The CA and CCA serve power needs, and power output delivery is important and must be considered. Get enough information on the CA and CCA. Your car needs a definite amount of amperage to start, especially in cold climates. If your battery doesn’t have enough amperage to turn over in the cold weather, it is likely not to run. The Cranking Amps (CA) reveal the current your battery provides when the temperature is near the freezing point. The Cold Cranking amps (CCA) indicate a battery’s capacity to run in temperatures below freezing points.
- Battery brand: This is the trademark of your car battery. Most car batteries come with their manufacturer’s brand. Sometimes, the car owner’s manual can specify the brand you should replace your car battery with. Note that cheap battery brands don’t connote quality. Opt for battery brands with reputable dealerships and quality.
- Amp Hour (AH): The amp hour points out the amount of electricity your battery can store. The power and durability of your battery are known by its amp-hour and show how long your battery can survive without recharging. A higher battery amp hour will be carried on for a long time, reducing the chances of your battery running low.
- Determine battery cell type: There are also varieties of cell types one can choose from. Consult experts or the car manual to see the cell type you need for your type of car.
- Grade: Batteries are manufactured with different types of grades. High-grade car batteries are patterned and intended to last longer than low-grade car batteries.
- Life Expectancy of the car battery.
Tips For Maintaining Healthy Car Battery
With car batteries, health is all about maintenance and taking preventive measures to aid the longevity of your batteries.
You can follow the tips below:
- You should be sensitive. Do not ignore signs of battery trouble. These signs can range from slow starting engine, the bad smell emanating from the battery or around it, corroded connectors, misshapen battery case, backfiring, old battery, dimming lights, slow cranking, electrical component problems, to mention but a few.
- Check battery cables and terminals often to ensure there is no build-up corrosion. Corrosion on the battery can limit power delivery from the battery or even prevent it from kick-starting. Cleaning your battery will remove dirt and other materials that can be a nuisance or cause corrosion. You can use baking soda and water to clean the top of your car battery and the terminals. You can also coat the terminals with terminal sprays.
- Frequently add distilled water if your car battery needs it.
- Don’t leave your car without being driven for too long. It can drain your battery. Even when not in use, you can drive your car or leave it to run for some time every three days.
- Unplug electrical appliances when your car isn’t running to avoid battery drain.
- Minimize heat exposure.
- Test your battery often. You should also conduct battery load tests and battery check-ups by certified mechanics.
- Limit short rides. Short rides fail to get your batteries fully charged before your car is turned off.
You must give priority to your car battery and its maintenance to enjoy your battery life to the fullest. Finding the right battery for your car may seem difficult, but following the right guide as explained above will help immensely. You should know that car batteries are not the same; they work in different specifications and several ways. You must therefore endeavor to choose the right to save you from risks, stress, and expensive costs in the long run.
Some common good examples are